Suthers preaches economic gains, protestors call for independent investigation at State of the City speech

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COLORADO SPRINGS — On Thursday in Mayor John Suthers state of the city address he said Colorado Springs is a city for the nation to envy.

Not every body who packed the ballroom at the Broadmoor for his speech agree as protestors from inside and outside the ballroom made their voices heard.

“Killer cops, off the streets,” protesters yelled from outside the ballroom.

“Justice for Devon,” a protester chanted inside.

“We went and made ourselves known.” said Shaun Walls, a community organizer.

A couple dozen protestors seeing the state of Colorado Springs through a different lens calling again for an independent investigation into the officer involved shooting of Devon Bailey.

Suthers, didn’t comment after his speech, or directly address the demonstrators but addressed the shooting in his planned remarks.

“They should be subject to scrutiny to determine if the officers have acted in accordance with state and federal law and department policy but ladies and gentlemen, our police officers, just like everyone else should have the benefit of due process and the rule of law,” said Mayor Suthers.

“Of course we want due process but we want a fair process. We don’t want his buddies to investigate.”

But there are other things in the city, the mayor said are worth cheering for.

“We have over 1 billion dollars are new private investment in the Interquest corridor alone,” Suthers explained.

Hospital expansions, new restaurants and an Amazon warehouse are coming but the growth comes with a consequence.

“Our booming local economy has led to increasing rents and housing costs, making the issue of affordable housing a very real one,” Suthers added.

He doubled down on his promise for more than 1,000 affordable units added to the city each year. The mayor counted over 250 units this year.

“This year showed a stabilization of the number of people facing homelessness and a 13% decline in the number of unsheltered people,” Suthers explained.

The mayor also asking people to do what they’ve done before—vote to fund road projects around the city.

“Most of the roads being fixed in the first five years of 2C have been major arterials. Very few have been residential in nature, we’re asking voters to renew 2C at a reduced sales tax rate of .57%, down from .62%,” Suthers said.

The mayor says, if passed, the focus over the next 5 years, would be improving residential roads.

Another ballot initiative will be in front of voters in November as well, asking voters to allow the city to keep $7 million in excess revenues. The money would go to improving parks and sports facilities around the city. If it does not pass, households in Colorado Springs would receive a refund of about $30.

Suthers hopes the improvements will be ready for the 150th birthday celebration for the city.

“Colorado Springs has been ranked in the top three best places to live in the United States,” Suthers said.

But, in others eyes, there’s a need to listen.

“I’m a native of this city and this city raised me and I’m proud that it ranks so high, but I don’t want us ignored because we are the heart of this city,” said Shaun Walls.

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